How to Elope in Snow Canyon State Park – Utah Desert Elopement Photographer & Guide

A colorful location guide to the 4 elopement locations in Snow Canyon State Park in Southwest Utah.

This stunning Utah state park is often skipped for the more popular Utah National Parks of Moab, Bryce and Zion. However, after visiting it, I was absolutely blown away by the incredible scenery here. Tucked away just north of St. George, Utah, it’s a MUST visit for the adventurous couple. One highlight of my visit was seeing a roadrunner, running, on a road, as if we were all in a cartoon. I practically screamed “MEEP MEEP!” when I saw it. Bird nerdyness aside, we also enjoyed seeing kangaroo rats, owls, ravens, leopard lizards, and other desert friends in this awesome park. There are even endangered desert tortoises here! Just don’t touch any of the plants. Even the ones that don’t look like cactuses.. are effectively cactuses. You’re welcome. So, where should you plan your desert elopement at Snow Canyon State Park?

All elopement sites in the park follow the same rules: no signs, confetti (birdseed, rice, anything), amplified music or generators, drones, balloons, off-trail use, pets, or burning candles or anything else is permitted. Basically, leave no trace! It’s not hard. You can’t book your date on the park’s busy holiday or marathon weekends, and only one wedding per day can happen in the park, so book early if you can! The application cost is negligible, between $100 and $300, plus day use fee of $10 per car unless you have a Utah state park pass. More guidelines can be found here and the application is here. Here are the 4 locations you can have your elopement in Snow Canyon State Park!

Sand Dunes Elopement at Snow Canyon State Park

The first thing you should do when you get to Snow Canyon State Park is go play in the sand dunes! You can sled down the slopes, and hike the trails with your jaw on the floor as you explore the red sand dunes surrounded by towering red rocks. You can have up to 25 guests at your elopement at the sand dunes, and early morning and afternoon are both great times to get married here in the summer, while anytime in the cooler winter temperatures would work. This is a totally unique location that will be beyond memorable. Frolic around on the dunes, follow the lizard tracks, draw your names in the sand and have the ceremony you’ve always wanted here. You could set out a blanket and have a picnic dinner (cheese plate, anyone?) as the shadows grow long, and have your first dance under only the starlight sharing a set of audio headphones.

Lower Galoot Elopement at Snow Canyon State Park

To answer your first question, No, I don’t know what a galoot is, but I do know that it is awesome! This is the only site in Snow Canyon State Park that you can reserve exclusively for your wedding or elopement. It costs a little more.. we’re talking $120 for six hours. In the world of wedding venues, this is nothing! Two big trees provide some shade at all hours of the day, and a few hours before sunset is just magical here. Maybe it’s a little odd to talk about bathrooms in a blog post about romance and marraige, but the park bathrooms at Lower Galoot were THE NICEST I have EVER been into. Talk about a must-do 😉 Because this spot isn’t at the start of any trailhead, you may enjoy more privacy especially if you choose to elope just the two of you. You can have up to 50 guests at this location, but no more than 10 cars, as the parking area is not huge. There are picnic tables here that you can arrange, for you to casually dine with your favorite people while you take in the 360 degree panoramic views. A large orange petrified dune dominates the area, with views to the white rock peak, sagebrush desert, and black cliffs. Would you hike to the top of this beehive in your wedding clothes? Let me know!

Petrified Dunes Elopement at Snow Canyon State Park

This place is incredibly cool and hot at the same time. These fossilized dunes stretch in all directions and you can explore them together until you find the exact right place to elope together, with up to 25 guests. The lines and textures, not to mention the colors of this valley, come together to make a desert scene unlike any other. For the couple who doesn’t want their wedding to look like anyone else’s, planning a petrified dunes elopement at snow canyon state park will be the perfect fit. Just look at how insanely cool this desert landscape is!

Snow Canyon Overlook Elopement at Snow Canyon State Park

The final place you could plan your desert wedding ceremony is the Snow Canyon overlook elopement location. A wide, rocky, 5 mile trail leads to the most unbelievable viewpoint at the head of the canyon. If you’re up for a hike, this spot at sunrise would be out of this world, knock your socks and your hiking boots off amazing. Because of the hike to get in, this location would be private and personal. You can say your vows without anyone else in the world hearing them, because they are only for your partner. Hello, windswept hair, a dusty train on your gown, flowers tucked into your backpack, and your bestie by your side for the best morning of your life! If I could get married all over again, the snow canyon overlook would be at the top of my list of places to do it. Photos just won’t do it justice, so check out this 360 degree view to see the real deal. It. Is. Epic.

There are so many options for an outdoorsy couple to plan a half day or full day elopement in Snow Canyon State Park. An adventurous couple could hop on bikes and ride the length of the park’s main canyon bike path, a smooth ride that passes all of the best areas. Resorts in nearby St George offer spas, pools, and fine dining. You could hike for days and never get bored with the park’s many features. What park do you know that has a slot canyon; sand dunes, petrified dunes and painted dunes; a natural, all white stone amphitheater; mountain peak hikes; a volcanic cone; lava tube caves AND a natural arch?? Let me pause here for a second. Are you reading this?!! When I visited these Lava tubes – which I didn’t even know existed in Utah – I was expecting some small holes in the ground. The short hike over solid lava leads to enormous caves that you can climb into and explore, and yes there are bats inside. Some people say you can hike for 8 hours underground if you squeeze through some of the narrow gaps, others say there’s a cave room with tons of glow in the dark objects stashed in the walls. I mean, whaaat?! The white rock amphitheater is incredibly unique – it feels like walking on another planet. I recommend camping in the park’s campground to enjoy the early morning hours and late evenings for a fully immersive experience.

So, are you ready to plunge into your best adventure yet, with colorful and emotive elopement photography at Snow Canyon State Park, Utah? I’d love to help guide you to making this location Your Spot. Just get in touch!

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